Recently, ABC News reported about a woman’s search for her biological sister: Woman’s Search for Long-Lost Sister Comes with a Twist. Karen and Diane were born seven years apart to the same mother, but were each adopted to other families. After years of each searching separately for their biological family, they finally got word from the state adoption registry and were able to reunite.
Open adoption today has changed the story for biological siblings like Karen and Diane. Newer generations of adoptees may find these “long lost” stories to be less common because of open adoption and changes in the way people talk about their adoption history. Because of the choices available through open adoption, many children growing up in adoptive families today will have more answers to common questions like “where did I come from?” and “do I have other brothers or sisters?”
It’s common for a birth mother to want open adoption for her children (as siblings). Even if she personally doesn’t want to maintain contact after her child’s adoption, she still hopes the children she’s raising and the child placed for adoption will be able to have a connection. Many birth mothers to want the child she placed to know he or she has siblings out there…so they aren’t “long lost.”
There are many benefits of open adoption, one of which is the ability to know what happens to a child after his adoption takes place, as well as giving that child information about his birth history. Today’s news story reminds us of one of the most common questions we hear from birth mothers today: “Can my child know his siblings after the adoption happens?”
Open adoption has beneficial aspects for all parties in the adoption triad, with the primary benefit being a positive awareness of each other throughout a child’s life.
For the child who was adopted, open adoption removes the mystery that once covered most adoptions decades ago. The future of adoption reunion stories, like Karen and Diane’s, has forever changed because birth families and adoptive parents are embracing the possibilities of open adoption.